Partner Support

ITS Partner Support provides an enhanced level of service for our key campus IT Partners, while continuing to leverage standard support channels. This should not be viewed as another initial entry-point for routine matters into ITS, but rather as a safety-net to prevent frustration or potential dead-ends.

Overview - What is Partner Support?

Approach

Create a single point of contact for our IT Partners to utilize for the following:

  • escalate issues
  • work to resolve technical or process issues, when traditional paths are ineffective
  • provide feedback across ITS about improvements when traditional paths are ineffective, where appropriate

Goals

What Partner Support is planning to provide:

  • Open and market channels of communication directly to Partner Support such as phone, chat, and email for partners to use outside the scope of standard process.
  • Leverage cloud based tools to be able to keep and use partner contact data in the event of wide-scale outage wherein standard tools are unavailable.
  • Take a data driven approach to measuring ITS satisfaction by customer set and share that metric data with ITS and partner contacts.
  • Grow and facilitate meaningful relationships with ALL our partners such that we are connected to their business and they to us.

Outcomes

What are we going to achieve:

  • Improved satisfaction of our customers through less escalations to Executive Leadership, particularly over small communication or “slipping through the cracks” challenges.
  • Reduced outage durations through more timely communications with our partners during events.
  • Increased customer satisfaction scores on surveys through improved processes.

People - Who are our IT Partners?

On Campus Partners

Follows our standard agreement regarding contact information and escalation.

Off Campus Partners

Addendums are provided to address additional technologies or deviations from how business is conducted on campus.

Global Partners

Follow specific global partnership agreements designed to address time zone issues and the changes of languages, vendors, etc.

Partner Support Staff

Primary staff is currently David Neuhoff, reporting to Kathie Koch in IT Services Service and Solutions Management.

Escalation includes our 24/7 Command Center, who are empowered to escalate up through the IT Services Management chain.

Process - How to interact with Partner Support?

Incoming Communication

Several modes of communication will be utilized with Partner support for initiating contact, including:

  • Phone - Dedicated phone number provided to IT Partner Leadership after initial meeting and/or during routine ITS Partner meetings.
  • Email - Dedicated email address provided to Partners for less urgent needs.
  • Chat - Individual chat with Partner Support staff when a less formal communication is needed.

Outgoing Communication

Partner support's primary means of communication will always be direct - either by phone or in-person. Additional communication may be provided as follows (when necessary):

  • Direct one-on-one emails
  • Mailing List for sharing changed or updates to the Partner Support program itself
  • answers.uchicago.edu knowledge articles
  • Links to statuspage.io outage updates
  • Shared documents (i.e. Box, Google, etc.) as a supplement to individual communications

Engagement Frequency

There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution and each Partner is unique; some may prefer weekly check-ins, some may prefer monthly/quarterly check-ins. We continue to refine and define this aspect of Partner Support, but our primary driving goal is to establish a regular touch-base. We envision each engagement evolving organically, however each should have some of the following goals:

  • How ITS is doing in general for their support?
  • Discuss any upcoming issues or challenges.
  • Share current metrics on their area for volume and quality.
  • Take back information to ITS overall to better keep staff involved.